Indian Airports Eye Former Pax Terminals as Potential Cargo Facilities

Following up on plans announced last year to expand domestic air connectivity in India by developing domestic cargo terminals at some 24 airports in the country, Airports Authority of India (AAI) this week said it plans to use redundant passenger terminals at regional airports for the proposed logistics network.

AAI chairman RK Srivastava
AAI chairman RK Srivastava

At a press conference, AAI chairman RK Srivastava said the government-supported move to stimulate the Indian economy, would create "tremendous growth" in air cargo at airports throughout the country. "AAI is venturing into the new area of domestic cargo operations with an objective to create the basic infrastructure at its airports which have potential for air cargo growth," he said, explaining that basic cargo facilities at second-tier cities could feed into India's international gateways.

P2C terminal conversions
The AAI plans call for creating common-user domestic cargo and courier terminals after carrying out “minor modifications” on the redundant passenger terminals, which already have land- and air-side access. The refurbished terminals would also also offer improved security, AAI added, pointing out that domestic cargo is mostly handled in separate warehouses at the airport.

Mr Srivastava said that second-tier facilities have already commenced at three airports -- Jaipur, Lucknow and Coimbatore. It would be started within a couple of years at the remaining 21 airports. The AAI chairman did not elaborate on financial specifics for the project.

Common user facilities
At present, AAI manages international air cargo terminals at Chennai, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Amritsar, Guwahati, Lucknow, Trichy and Mangalore airports, while it is involved in joint venture-managed air cargo complexes at Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Cochin and Nagpu. It is also responsible for domestic cargo handling at Port Blair, Lucknow and Jaipur and is about to commission international air cargo handling facilities at Madurai and Vizag airports.

Meanwhile, the Authority has identified the following locations for establishing common user facilities: in the north, Amritsar and Varanasi; in the western region, Ahmedabad, Surat and Aurangabad; in the south, Chennai, Mangalore, Trichy, Trivandrum, Calicut, Madurai and Vizag; in the eastern region, Kolkata, Bhubneshwar, Ranchi, Gaya and Raipur; and in the north eastern city of Guwahati. Other potential locations include the airports of Srinagar, Pune and Goa.

Nol van Fenema

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